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Basic facts

A steel rope consists of several strands (most usually of 6 or 8) wound around a fibre or steel core. Fibre core can be made from natural fibres (hemp, sisal) or synthetic ones (polypropylene). Steel core is often of wire construction itself.
Each strand consists of several wires (6 - 61) being wound around the core which is made of a wire or, less often, of a fibre. The number of wires in each strand depends on the rope construction. 

The most common wire rope constructions:

  • spiral ropes
  • standard ropes
  • special ropes

Spiral rope

A spiral rope is the simplest type of wire rope that consists of one central wire with six or more outer wires of the same diameter twisted around it.
Construction: 1×7; 1×19; 1×37
Use: automotive industry

Standard rope

A standard rope consists only of wires of the same diameter and is made of 6 - 8 strands.
Construction: 6x7; 6x19; 6x37; 6x36
Use: Mechanical engineering, civil engineering, fishery, forestry, farming, etc.

Special rope

The structure of these ropes varies according to the way of plaiting, construction, wire diameter, etc. By using different wire dimensions, the rope cross-section is larger, better filling factor, therefore the minimum breaking load increases, crush resistance is greater and the working life longer.
The strands are often made up from three standard wire arrangements: Filler, Seale and Warrington.

Smaller sized wires are used in the inner layer, whereas the outer layer consists of larger and equally sized wires. This type of arrangement provides good abrasion resistance; it is therefore used in cases with a higher level of outer friction.

Warrington construction consists of two layers of wires around the core with two diameters of wire (alternating large and small) in the outer layer and one diameter of wire in the inner layer.

Small ''filler'' wires are used in strands of the inner layer, providing larger cross-sectional area and crush resistance.

This rope is resistant to rotation and is used in cases where one end of a rope is fixed with the other one being unrestrained.
Construction: 17x7; 18x7; 34x7
Use: lifting devices in mechanical and civil engineering

General purposes

Steel ropes are divided according to the purpose, application and consequently to the type of construction:

  • Rope for elevators and cranes
  • Consumer products
  • Winch ropes
  • Ski lifts
  • In building machines (drill, excavator, etc.)
  • Rope constructions
  • Other purposes


The quality and the use of steel rope over the world and in Slovenia are in accordance with EN standards. Individual steel rope manufacturers may refer to their national standards and regulations, which goes mainly for the special constructions.


The steel ropes of manufacturers represented by Toneli are preformed. Each rope is likely to fray when being cut, which is the consequence of the inner tensions of the wires used in strands and strands used in the rope. In the preformed rope, the inner tensions are reduced, which prevents rope from fraying.


The rope should be properly stored and checked whether it was damaged during transportation, which could affect rope performance.
When in use, the rope should be suitably lubricated as prevention of corrosion.
Greater care is required in examining preformed ropes, since, due to rope being pre-formed, possible damage cannot be easily revealed.
Periodical examinations are necessary due to possible damage, deformation, deterioration and corrosion of a rope.


Main rope parameters:

  1. Diameter
  2. Length
  3. Carrying capacity
  4. Construction of rope
  5. Rope core (fibre or steel core)
  6. Surface (greasy/dry and uncoated/galvanized)
  7. Lay direction (right or left)
  8. Purpose

Should further information on parameters be required, Toneli's Customer service and support provides assistance and advice on choosing the appropriate steel ropes.